Today marks the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, also known as NCSAM. Since 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recognized October as NCSAM to promote cybersecurity awareness and safety tips, ultimately changing behaviors to protect people against cyber threats.
Our off- and online lives are increasingly blurred. There is no escaping the reality that our homes, economic prosperity and national security are impacted by the internet. Starting today, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will explore weekly themes to help you become #CyberAware.
Week 1 (October 1–5) Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety
Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. S&T will provide basic cybersecurity tips to protect your home against potential cybersecurity threats stemming from online shopping and sharing too much personal information on social media.
Week 2 (October 8–12) Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity
A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. S&T’s Cybersecurity Competitions program funds efforts that engage high school and college students in cybersecurity competition challenges. One of our successfully transitioned efforts, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), challenges teams of college students to operate and manage a corporate network infrastructure. This effort’s objective is to educate and inspire the next generation of cybersecurity defenders.
Week 3 (October 15–19) It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work
An organization’s online safety and security is a shared responsibility across the workforce. This week S&T will explore cybersecurity best practices for the workplace like recognizing phishing attempts, securing Internet of Things devices and identifying software vulnerabilities.
Week 4 (October 22–26) Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure
Our daily lives depend on the country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications and power along with other networks and systems. Several of S&T’s cybersecurity research and development (R&D) programs focus on securing our critical infrastructure:
- Next Generation Cyber Infrastructure Apex (NGCI Apex) – hardening the cybersecurity defenses of the financial services sector
- Linking the Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity (LOGIIC) – facilitating cooperative R&D, testing and evaluation procedures to improve the oil and gas industry’s cybersecurity posture
- Critical Infrastructure Design and Adaptive Resilient Systems (CIDARS) – creating innovative approaches to plan and design integrated solutions to secure critical infrastructure systems
Throughout NCSAM, I encourage you to follow our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help keep you cyber savvy! During the month, we will share tips and program highlights using #CyberAware and #NCSAM. For more information about NCSAM events, visit our page.